Tonight: the Beginning of the End?

Blood Moons Ray ComfortRemember John Hagee’s hysterical fulminations about the upcoming “blood moons”? I wrote about that here. In brief, four Jewish holidays in a row (two Passovers and two Sukkots) will have lunar eclipses. Eclipses during any one of these is common, but four in a row are rare, and Hagee makes an enthusiastic but weak argument that important things happen to Israel during each of these periods of four blood moons.

The first of these lunar eclipses is tonight. Barring poor weather, it will be visible in North America (the eclipse will be total 12:08–1:23 am in Seattle). But no, Israel won’t be able to see this or the remaining blood moons. You’d think that would be required since Israel’s wellbeing is the focus of Hagee’s prophecy. I guess John Hagee works in mysterious ways.

He says about these celestial fireworks, “God is literally screaming at the world, ‘I’m coming soon.’” Let’s see if tonight’s eclipse is God’s calling card.

Time to bring in another expert

End times prediction is strangely attractive to some apologists (I’ve written more here). It’s a shiny thing to a baby. Ray Comfort couldn’t help using his annoyance at the recent Noah movie as a grandstanding opportunity to make his own movie about our own imminent end, and it has that je ne sais quoi that only Ray Comfort can provide. Or maybe it’s WTF.

Ray gives ten New Testament passages that make clear that we’re in the end times. “The end of the age is happening now,” he says. Let’s take a look to see if we can see it as clearly as Ray can.

He begins with 2 Peter 2:1–3:

But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.

Yes, there are lots of false prophets in our time—Hal Lindsey vaguely predicted the end in 2000, Harold Camping in 2011, Ronald Weinland in 2013, and there were others. But don’t imagine that naively idiotic prophecies are a recent thing. There’s the Great Disappointment of 1844. And the many failed predictions by the Jehovah’s Witnesses. This is no sign of the end. These Christian doomsday prophets have always been with us.

And now Ray Comfort is yet another prophet. Give us a specific date, Ray, so we know when to add you to the false prophets list. But be careful: this passage says that God will judge these liars like he judged the wicked people he drowned in the Flood.

On to Ray’s next verse of what to look for in the end times:

Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matt. 24:7)

Yes, there are wars, but no more now than in the past. The incidence of famine and pestilence is far less today (no thanks to Christianity), and science is helping predict earthquakes and make cities more resilient. This argues against Ray’s claim.

The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. (Acts 2:20)

Consider the context of this verse. The disciples were gathered for the feast of Pentecost, shortly after Jesus had returned to heaven, and the Holy Spirit descended on them. They all spoke in tongues, and passersby marveled that they could hear God praised in their own language. Peter explained that this was a fulfillment of a prophecy from Joel (the verse above is Peter quoting Joel).

Now consider the entire quotation (2:17–21). Joel was listing what will happen in the last days, and Peter said that this visitation of the Holy Spirit indicated that Joel’s symptoms of the end were happening at that moment. Yes, the sun will turn to darkness and the moon to blood, but it will happen in the time of Peter and the apostles.

Another fail, Ray. You’ve really got to read these things more carefully.

There will be terrible times in the last days. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers … (2 Timothy 3:1–2)

Ray’s focus here is naughty words used in movies. I’ll grant that there are more R-rated movies now than centuries ago, but this seems a tiny point to put in a Top Ten list.

It was the same in the days of Lot. … But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed. (Luke 17:28–30)

Ray interprets this as an increase in the acceptance of (shudder!) homosexuality.

You know you live in strange times when the atheist has to explain to the Christian what Bible passages mean. No, Ray, that’s not what we’re talking about here. The point is suddenness. The wicked people during Noah’s time were going about life as usual and were caught unawares by the Flood. The people in Sodom were surprised by the hail of destruction. The section continues with admonitions against going back to your house for your stuff when the end comes—just run for safety.

Yes, we’re more accepting of homosexuality. No, that’s not what this passage is about.

Let’s finish up Ray Comfort’s Kant-Fail® Signs of the End tomorrow. If John Hagee is to be believed, however, it’s not clear that there will be a tomorrow …

Part 2.

I used to be Christian,
but then I thought about it.
— Anon.

Photo credit: S Vivek

The Inadequate Deist Argument
Response To an Angry Christian (2 of 2)
Response To an Angry Christian
Wondering What to Give that Christian or Atheist on Your List?
About Bob Seidensticker
  • hector_jones

    If I were God and I wanted to get the word out I would announce it during Monday Night Football or even the Superbowl. This moon stuff is way too old school.

    • Itarion

      Yeah, but that might just get passed off as a joke. I, personally, would forge my image among the stars, in blazing, eternally shifting lights visible even against the light of the sun.

      • Greg G.

        If God could afford that, he wouldn’t need beggars behind pulpits.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I think a good personal finances seminar is all God really needs. He could knock it out on a Saturday at the community center.

      • hector_jones

        If I were God I would mean it as a joke.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

        I like the identical-dream idea. God lays it all out in one night to everyone.

        • hector_jones

          God just went ‘d’oh why didn’t I think of that instead of picking John Haggee as my mouthpiece? But he just seemed so honest and charming, I couldn’t resist!’

        • wtfwjtd

          But but but…that would just mean he wanted to communicate his will to each of us in a non-contradictory, personal way, without confusion, and that he might actually WANT us to know what he wants us to do. What about “free will” and all that crap?

        • Itarion

          That is nice, though a bit insidious form me. Please get out of our collective heads sort of thing.

  • Greg G.

    “God is literally screaming at the world, ‘I’m coming soon.’”

    You keep using that word. I do not think you know what it means.

    • Pofarmer

      Screaming in hushed, ambiguous tones, only audible to the select few.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

        And I thought that one of the main points of the Protestant Reformation was to bypass the middle-man (priest). Not so, I guess.

      • wtfwjtd

        Not unlike the sleigh bell in Polar Express.

      • Greg G.

        Eventually, you begin to wonder whether the double entendres are the results of repressed desires or whether they’re deliberate.

    • JohnH2

      In space, no one can hear you scream.

      • Pofarmer

        Not a very effective method, then.

    • Itarion

      Ignorance of a word’s meaning? Inconceivable!

  • Pofarmer

    Here’s my personal post on Bob’s blog for, well, whatever time period, as long as he lets me. I’m a coach and instructor. I teach shotgun sports for local youth through 4-H. Good kids, good fun, challenging sport that many can participate in. Anyway. So we are having a practice this Sunday P.M. Sunday afternoons are about the only time we can really have a full practice because of other sports, parents with jobs, that sort of thing. So one of the Mom’s who has a kid actually in school with my kids, is apoplectic that practice is taking so long. Why, they have other plans,and Johnny(not his real name) has to get to youth group!!! Oh, no’s. I’m thinking, “really?” He goes to church for school 5 days a week. He goes to church with you guys sat night or Sun, and you are worried about having him in frickin’ youth group to? Give the poor kid a fucking break. Religious people are really getting on my nerves. Many are so afraid and nervous that they forget to fucking live and enjoy life.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Makes you wonder how strong they really think their faith is (not that you’d get them to admit it).

    • wtfwjtd

      Practically my whole childhood was sacrificed on the altar of my parent’s sense of religious duty in much the same way. Yeah, I feel for that poor kid….been there, done that, it ain’t no fun.

  • JohnH2

    Sun dark-moon to blood always has made me think of massive volcanic activity, or nuclear holocaust, or asteroid strike; basically something that turns the experience of living near an erupting volcano like Mt. St. Helens into a globally universal experience.

    Being more resilient or less to earthquakes says nothing about their frequency or locale. For that we would need to know if there are more earthquakes than normal happening now, or potentially more larger earthquakes happening globally recently. Perhaps no one earthquake is necessarily outside of the power-law predictions for frequency but that all the frequencies happen to align with larger sized earthquakes happening in a shortish period of time: Have there been more say 7.0 and higher earthquakes in the last ten years than in any other ten year period on record or not? Those are the two things to look at, not whether we can now forecast and prepare for earthquakes.

  • wtfwjtd

    There will be terrible times in the last days. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers … (2 Timothy 3:1–2)

    Let’s look at this point by point for a moment. Okay, so men have a healthy self-image of themselves, they spend money to make their lives more enjoyable, they brag a little to those around them, they are glad to live in an age of prosperity, and a few of them even tell god to go fuck himself. Ohhh, stop the presses! Yessiree, sounds like a terrible time to be alive!

    • Itarion

      …abusive, disobedient to their parents,ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

      So they are also cruel, ir-respectful of the old and wise, heartless, cruel, liars, free of any restraint, brutal etc.
      I mean, some of that sounds okay, but some not so much. Kinda like the human condition as a whole, but whatever. Some people are nice, others not so much. Good advice at the end, mind you. Stay away from bad people.

      Side point: quote the whole passage. No cherry picking.

  • RichardSRussell

    Apocalyptic prophets can always count on 3 things:
    (1) None of them have ever been right.
    (2) There’s an endless supply of suckers persuadable that you’ll be the first.
    (3) They’ll give you money.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      I heard a business case study about some brand of disposable diaper. The first version was pretty terrible, and the brand got a bad rap. But they improved it shortly afterwards, and they were able to recover quickly.

      What was unusual in this situation is that the category “parents who want disposable diapers” is fairly narrow in time. Old people (who might be dissatisfied with your brand) are falling out and new ones (who know nothing of your brand) are coming in.

      I think this applies a bit here.

      • Greg G.

        That disposable diaper story is full of..

  • Mick

    Won’t the Christians get a surprise when they find out god hates ‘yes-men’ and it’s the atheists who will be raptured to safety while the true-believers will be snuffed out of existence.

    • Itarion

      You know, I hear that rather a lot. It’s like lazy Christianity, I think. “Look, it’s gonna be us non-Christians who your Christian god will save.” It just is like “…what the hell? How does that even?” when you think about it.

      • Greg G.

        God Hates Gullibles! Faithiests get weeded out.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      God’s most-repeated statement on Judgment Day: “I gave you a big brain, and you put it on hold and just believed stuff??”

    • Sophia Sadek

      This reminds me of the Christian reaction to Plutarch’s treatise on how atheism is preferable to superstition.

  • katiehippie

    Seems these people can’t see themselves in 2 Peter 2:1-3. A perfect description of Ray Comfort et al.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Especially since he starts out with that one. Especially since the examples he gives are doing just what he’s doing. Especially since the larger passage makes clear that God gets quite irked by such false prophets.

  • hector_jones

    Is Hagee’s prophecy specific enough that when Nov 2015 arrives he’ll be as discredited as Harold Camping or Edgar C. Whisenant? Or did he include an escape hatch?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Tragically, he’s quite unspecific. If anything noteworthy worldwide happens in the next 18 months, I’m sure he’ll point to that and declare victory.

      • hector_jones

        So God doesn’t have to come to fulfil Hagee’s prophecy? Some noteworthy world event will be enough? And people are buying this soiled nappy? I’m definitely in the wrong line of work. *sigh*.

      • adam

        And of course it is ‘noteworthy’ if it can be linked with any bible passage and pretends to portent future events.
        .

    • Sophia Sadek

      Yes: only the material Creator is perfect.

  • MNb

    Of course tonight is the beginning of the end. So was yesterday and so will be tomorrow.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/sci/tech/specials/washington_2000/649913.stm

    Repent, all ye evildoers. The end is nigh. It’s there before you know; it will take just half a billion years. That’s nothing in the grand scheme of things.

    • JohnH2

      More than enough time to terraform Mars, which if properly done will remain habitable for a very long time

      • MNb

        Oh? Your god is not capable of doing it so we must do it ourselves?

        • JohnH2

          We, being God’s children, already terraformed this planet under the direction of Christ, and we will continue to organize or create planets.

        • Pofarmer

          You sir, are a nut, but that’s O.K., or so I’m told.

        • MNb

          Great. Where in christ’s handbook can I find the procedures we must follow and the means we must use to terraform Mars?

        • JohnH2

          MNb, That isn’t completely written out, and even the parts that are I am not at liberty to point out. If you are primarily interested in current ideas as how to terraform mars there are plenty of sources online, if you are at all interested in learning about Christ, I suggest spending some time trolling the missionaries at mormon.org, I hear that can be entertaining and you might learn something.

        • MNb

          “That isn’t completely written out”
          How imperfect of your god.

          “the parts that are I am not at liberty to point out”
          If you do your beloved christ will strike you with a thunderbolt or something? Weird – I’m completely at liberty to point out all scientific knowledge I have.

          “If you are primarily interested …”
          At the moment I am primarily interested in you telling me what the content is (a summary is sufficient) of your christs manual of terraforming Mars. Also I’m interested in your lame excuses not to do so, because that shows you’re sucking things out of your big fat thumb again. If the missionaries at mormon. org are interested in me trolling them they are welcome overhere, so has BobS told me. Now you are here and I am trolling you, because you, like Pofarmer wrote underneath, are a nut producing manure. Me being a honest troll though are willing to give you a fair chance, even if experience tells me you are not going to grab it.
          You are here on a mission for god, I am not on a mission for atheism. So you have to do the work, not me. If you are too lazy, well, I’ll shrug and call you a fraud again.
          How is the mormon research going regarding mass and size of your material god?

        • JohnH2

          Not letting toddlers play with nukes isn’t imperfect.

          I would break covenants that I have made with God.

          That I may be able to share quite a bit more on the subject, such as a summary, doesn’t mean that I actually have any desire to do so with you. Given that you still ask about the mass of God, it is pretty clear that you don’t actually want to know, you just think my beliefs are silly and want to make fun of them. I am under no obligation to help you mock the things of God.

          I am not a full-time missionary; the church has no clue that I comment online anywhere. I don’t know if the full time missionaries would be able to comment here, my bet is not, though I bet it would be possible for them to set up a blog on the Mormon channel here and respond to comments there; someone should suggest that to Patheos and the missionaries at Mormon .org.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          There are a bevy of Mormon blogs at Patheos. Feel free to encourage them to respond to any and all blog posts. I haven’t focused much on Mormonism in particular, but several posts are so aimed.

        • JohnH2

          Right, there are a bunch but none of them would really respond to any blog posts from another channel; they tend to be by university professors and all seem to have their own agendas that don’t involve actually being in conversation with other religions, or none, unless one counts new order mormon to be a separate religion.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I imagine you’re right. I wonder why that is. I love finding a popular or well-written attack on atheism (or defense of Christianity) that I can respond to.

          Just today, in fact, a Christian antagonist pointed me to The Elliott Argument (undefeated in over 700 debates, or so the site claims). It’s 25,000 words of blather that basically distills down to: atheists don’t have an explanation for the origin of the universe, so God.

          But that was an aside. My question is: why are Christian bloggers so uninterested in responding to atheist arguments?

        • MNb

          Because they are not able to and because when they try – like WLC when debating Sean Carroll – they completely fail.

        • wtfwjtd

          Wow, that Idiot …er, I mean Elliot Argument, is a real piece of work. Basically, it looks like the nasty atheists can’t prove god doesn’t exist, and can’t prove the origins of the universe, so by default the Christian God wins the day. Big deal.

        • MNb

          Instead they leave it up to someone like you. Apparently they are not even interested in helping you out answering my nasty questions (or showing why they are irrelevant). You confirm my suspicion that your mormon professors are not keen to share their profound knowledge.

        • MNb

          Ah yes, you know your god has written that manual, but he has forbidden you tell you what is in it. As usual you make less sense the more you explain.

          “doesn’t mean that I actually have any desire to do so with you”
          Of course. Like the boy who claims he can run faster than a dog but actually doesn’t have any desire to show he can.

          “it is pretty clear that you don’t actually want to know”
          On the contrary. Given that your god is material I’m very curious what his mass and size are and how you measure them. That’s what I’m a teacher physics for. I’m also very interested in the mathematics behind astrology for instance; unfortunately no astrologist ever has provided that either. In exactly the same way I’d like to know which procedures your holy book describe how to terraform Mars. See, it would be the biggest scientific revolution since … I actually cannot think of anything comparable. It also might make me convert to mormonism – though I absolutely would await scientific scrutiny. But if the procedures as described in your Holy Book would pass that test I would be enormously impressed indeed and at least.
          What you don’t realize is that I mock you because you always fail to deliver and still pretend to have a scientific attitude.

        • JohnH2

          I probably make less sense the more I explain because we are working off of completely different assumptions on this point and you don’t appear to have any desire to understand what I am saying.

          I have gone through pages of comments with you in the past and you keep bringing up your idiotic suggestion that even though I don’t know your size or mass somehow I should know Gods independently of God agreeing to be weighed. It doesn’t even make sense and why you think God’s mass and size are important I don’t know and don’t understand and you have failed to explain why it would or should be. So since you respond to something as simple as God having a body in such a manner, why should I share more with you?

          This isn’t a case of me having never attempted to explain things to you, this is a case of me having tried repeatedly and been met with a nonsensical comment as to the mass of God pretty much every time since you finally, after pages of discussion, realized that God does have a mass per Mormonism.

        • MNb

          Dear SimpleJohnH2, it’s remarkably simple to find out what my size and mass is. Just use a measuring rod and a pair of scales. Give me the money and I will travel to your place so that you can do it yourself. You see? You totally have my agreement. More sophistication is needed when measuring the size and the mass of say the Sun, but physicists can pull that off.
          What I’m trying to find out is how you going to pull that off with your material god. Alas – or fortunately, depending on the point of view – you systematically refuse to address this.

          ” It doesn’t even make sense”
          Exactly! Because your material god doesn’t make any sense. Nice that we finally agree. Or perhaps not.

          “So since you respond to something as simple as God having a body in such a manner”
          Because, SimpleJohnH2, everything that has a body (in the widest meaning of the word; so it doesn’t have to be a human body) has a mass and a size that can be measured.

          “God does have a mass per Mormonism.”
          And I like to know how many kilograms and how we are going to measure it. Same for size. I have been liking to know since the very moment I learned from you, over at Chris H’s blog, that your god is material. Curious as I am I will repeat the question until you either give a satisfactory answer or admit that your material god doesn’t make sense.
          That will last a looooong time, I bet. Which is OK with me, because it shows how silly your belief system is. See? You have nicely manoeuvred me in a win-win situation.

          Now we are at it I have that other question you never bothered to answer: your mormon holy spirit actually is immaterial. How is that holy spirit supposed to interact with our material world? Which means does it use? Which procedures does it follow? Impossible to answer too? Too bad for you – your holy spirit is meaningless.

        • JohnH2

          Right, God has a mass that could be measured if God so desired to get on a scale. I don’t see what the confusion is there, or why you think that God would agree to you measuring His mass, or why it matters at all.

          The Holy Spirit is not immaterial.

        • MNb

          Ah yes – once again the boy that can outrun a dog if he desires to do so. Thanks, SimpleJohn. I assume the holy spirit doesn’t desire either? How convenient.

          http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/the-godhead

          “Church members believe the Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit, not a physical being.”
          How does that play out, being “not immaterial” = material (because there are no other flavours) and also not physical?

          “I don’t see what the confusion is there, or why you think that God would agree to you measuring His mass, or why it matters at all.”
          I’m not confused. I don’t ask your god to agree. It matters because I’m curious. Unlike you I like to learn things. Why would the higgs-boson matter, or the Multiverse? Why would it matter if the Morragambit provides sufficient compensation or not? Because I’m curious. Unlike you.

        • JohnH2

          D&C 131:7 : “There is no such thing as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter;”

          Since God is a body and a person, like you or me, then again there isn’t a way of determining His mass without His agreeing to be weighed: meaning you are confused.

        • MNb

          Priceless, SimpleJohn. Your god is and remains the kid who claims he can outrun a dog but doesn’t agree to show it. Worse, in fact: I have to trust you on your pretty blue eyes that your god is material but refuses to be measured for some silly reason. No, you don’t have to refer to your favourite holy book. Quotes never convince me that a statement is viable. The argument from authority is a logical fallacy.
          You see, I agree with you that asking the mass and size of your god is an absurd question. I just take the next easy step and conclude that your god is an absurd idea that only exists in your brain (and the brains of your cobelievers). How material!
          Now let’s take the next step. We have a god and a holy spirit who have the means (because they are material) to interact with our Universe but don’t agree to show how they interact. Very convenient that empirical evidence becomes impossible a priori.
          We can tell the same story about the fairies in my backyard tending my flowers. They are material, but alas don’t agree to be researched empirically, so they totally exist just because I say so.
          That’s exactly your belief system.
          Let me put it this way – for the exact reason you don’t buy those fairies I don’t buy your god.
          Like I said – priceless, SimpleJohn.

        • JohnH2

          Because you have not come to my house, (note I won’t pay for it either), to be measured I must assume that you do not exist as I don’t know your weight and any reference by you to your weight will never convince me.

        • MNb

          Oh, I totally want to pay your god to visit my lab so I can measure his weight and size. What is he waiting for?

        • JohnH2

          You would have to ask God.

        • MNb

          I just did. No answer, not even a negative one.
          What’s next? The “MNb didn’t ask hard or serious enough” fallacy? That would be very judgmental.
          Anyhow, you are running in circles. To ask god if he’d like to convince me he exists I must ask him, which is only possible if I assume he actually exists. You nicely showed that your belief system is based on a logical fallacy. Thanks.

        • Kodie

          Not letting toddlers play with nukes isn’t imperfect.

          That’s their way of saying “it sounds too silly and intellectuals will pick it apart”. Your religion is full of that kind of stuff they won’t tell you until they’re sure you believed the initial parts and aren’t put off yet. There’s no way otherwise that anyone would become a mormon if they started with the strange stuff. I read that Moroni book you linked to one of the times you linked it, and if you want to blame people who don’t buy your horseshit beliefs for not looking at it and trying hard enough to see things that aren’t there, or suppressing our intellectual reasoning to believe things that are not obviously true, that’s your own fault for being the fool who believes it. If it’s too foolish to share that you’re going to get shot down, there’s no conversation here. You have been warned by your elders not to share this stuff with us because it’s bullshit.

          Don’t worry, your religion is not unique. No religions are meant to be believed. They are a club of people who all go through similar steps toward wishful thinking and then faith. The same reason you find other religions false is the same reason all atheists find your religion false. If, without investigating every religion or even a dozen religions, you happened upon the right one the first time, and it was a difficult journey, but you don’t have the time and all those other ones are false superstitions, then you know exactly why we aren’t going to be Mormons. And yet, because of you, I probably know more about Mormonism than a lot of other people would even care. They are set. They don’t need yours.

          I would break covenants that I have made with God.

          About the planet he’s promising you after you die…. yeah, that’s a big secret you can’t talk about because that’s totally real and you promised god you wouldn’t tell.

        • JohnH2

          ” You have been warned by your elders not to share this stuff with us because it’s bullshit.”

          Replace “it’s” with “we will call it” and you are correct.

          The only religion that I am willing to say is absolutely false is Calvinism, and I am more familiar than a lot of other people about dozens of other religions.

          Regarding “getting a planet”: https://www.lds.org/topics/becoming-like-god?lang=eng

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      So “nigh” = 500 million years. I was wondering what the definition was. Thanks.

    • Sophia Sadek

      When kids asked me if the world was going to end in 2012, I told them that it ends every day and begins all over again the next day.

      • MNb

        Nice!

  • Nemo

    A typical “sign of the end times” you see is “Aha, the Bible knew you would say the signs were always there! That proves the end is near!” My response: wow. Someone made outlandish claims and guessed that people wouldn’t buy it.
    In any case, the Epistles and Gospels were written well after Paul and others were preaching their new religion. They weren’t making a prophecy of skeptics; they were reporting the skeptics they had already encountered.
    As for the blasphemy prophecy, no religion has ever been not blasphemed by people who didn’t believe it. Ray Comfort blasphemes Islam as surely as Muslims blaspheme the Christian interpretation of Jesus. Paul was himself a blasphemer of the Roman gods (the real reason Christians were killed).

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      My favorite is: “Sounds like you’re a scoffer! I can point you to the verse that prophesies your scoffing. Answer that, Mr. Atheist.”

  • Paul

    So much brokenness in these comments.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Is that a bad thing? We won’t know without more information.

    • Pofarmer

      The end has been predicted since Jesus and Paul. It was a common theme. Clue for you. It. Ain’t. Happenin.

      • Sophia Sadek

        Not quite. The world as it was back at the time of Jesus was pretty well obliterated by religious zealots. Armageddon happened and the bad boyz are in firm control.

  • Paul

    And that quote is not by Anon if it is even an actual quote

  • Rick

    I’m not a big John Hagee or Hal Lindsey fan. Hagee described some key tetrads but missed others, yet he resisted the urge to name a date (as Lindsey did). In any case, it is good that you get the concept that the teachings you cite are intended to teach preparation for an event that will come with little or no warning.

    • adam

      Don’t you mean THOUSANDS of YEARS of imminent DIRE warning…..

    • Pofarmer

      Just a clue. It’s not gonna happen, it never was gonna happen, ot never will happen. Live accordingly.

      • Rick

        Sounds like a faith based position. You have your faith, and you ought to live by it. I’ll do the same.

        • Pofarmer

          Not at all. I have a) the scriptures and b) the evidence to draw my conclusion from. To come to your conclusion you either have to ignore a or b. The only logical conclusion is that all the other myriad conclusions of imminent disaster based on the evidence and the scriptures have been wrong, therefore, there is a problem with the system. If b) is true, that the end of the world hasn’t happened, and a) says it should have. Then a) is wrong.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I’m in a church small group, and we’re discussing James. This week’s section included, “the Lord’s coming is near” (James 5:8).

          It was odd watching them dance around the issue. Several said, in effect, “OK, since we know that the literal interpretation doesn’t work, let’s find another way to interpret it.”

          Huh? What interpretation would the original hearers of this passage have had? That’s the way to interpret it. They simply didn’t like what the obvious interpretation implied.

        • Pofarmer

          “, “OK, since we know that the literal interpretation doesn’t work, let’s find another way to interpret it.””

          It’s rather comforting that they are doing the same thing that the original authors of the Gospels did.

        • MNb

          “Several said, in effect …”
          That’s how cognitive dissonance works. You might have asked what they thought of Dorothy Martin aka Marion Keech.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/When_Prophecy_Fails

        • Rick

          I’d say your understanding of scripture is significantly different from mine. Happy Easter in any case!

        • Pofarmer

          I’d say it’s more likely what constitutes evidence.

        • MNb

          I’d say we need exactly zilch understanding of scripture to predict if the end is nigh. We need physics and physics is not a matter of faith – rather the contrary. Like I wrote underneath we know the end is coming – it will take another 500 million years. We know this thanks to a) observing relevant empirical data and b) having a coherent and consistent theory correctly describing these data.
          For the same reason I can safely prophetize that you will fall downward and not upward when you jump off a bridge tomorrow (whenever tomorrow will be). You already admitted there is no reason to accept anything just because scripture says it, so I’m going to stick with science.

  • http://kingscriercommissions.blogspot.com/ thekingscrier

    Am I the only one who thinks that Ray Comfort is smoking those bananas he’s so fond of?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      If you watch the video, you’ll see that he’s sporting a new Wolfman look. Another result of his bananas, perhaps.

      I think he needs a new barber. Or fashion consultant.

      • http://kingscriercommissions.blogspot.com/ thekingscrier

        Or he’s been bitten by a werewolf and is close to changing permanently into a mindless beast?

        It’s a thought…

  • Sophia Sadek

    Some folks have not gotten the memo that the Earth is no longer flat and immobile.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X